Nations finalise Paris Agreement ‘rulebook’

Negotiators from 196 countries and the EU finalised a new ‘rulebook’ to deliver the Paris Agreement at the COP 24 climate summit in Poland last weekend.

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The new rules will govern how all countries cut carbon and help poorer nations deal with climate change, despite objections from Brazil and others threatening the talks.

However, Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe said the negotiations had failed to deliver a clear commitment to strengthen all countries’ climate pledges by 2020.

The NGO coalition also said the new rulebook was “incomplete”, and that limited progress had been made on finalising how financial support for poorer countries will be provided and accounted for.

This comes after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned in October that the world has just 12 years left to avoid uncontrollable global warming.

“Governments have again delayed adequate action to avoid catastrophic climate breakdown,” CAN Europe director, Wendel Trio, said. “The weak outcome runs contrary to stark warnings of the IPCC report.

“The EU needs to push ahead and lead by example, by providing more support to poor countries and increasing its climate pledge before the UN Secretary-General Summit in September 2019.”

Despite calling on the EU to take further action, CAN Europe said the bloc had done well to build alliances with other countries and find common ground on sticking points.

The EU also agreed to increase its 2030 climate target by 2020, along with other members of the High Ambition Coalition, while Germany has doubled its support for the Green Climate Fund for developing countries.

It was the US, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait that were least committed, with these countries failing to fully embrace the IPCC report’s findings, while Australia joined the US in supporting coal, and Brazil withdrew its offer to host COP 25.

“A number of powerful countries driven by short sighted interests pushed to abolish the ambitious 1.5°C limit and throw away the alarming findings of the IPCC,” CARE International global policy lead on climate change, Sven Harmeling, said.

“While governments accomplished the task of adopting a rulebook to further the implementation of the Paris Agreement, the world now requires much faster and stronger climate action at the national level, and support for poor countries to build climate resilience.”

 

Image credit | iStock
Author: 

Chris Seekings is a reporter for TRANSFORM

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